Comments

  • Word of the day - Not to be mistaken for "Word de jour."
    [Rant]...[/Rant]Pattern-chaser

    At the risk of taking your rant too seriously...

    As I understand the view of linguists, English English, and more widely British English, are just as much variants (varieties or dialects) of English as American English. Why should the variety spoken in the original home of the language be regarded as primary, in a world in which English is a native language in other places? After all, English has mutated in England too.
  • RIP Bryan Magee
    I was actually attempting to link to the YouTube playlist, not that interview in particular, which isn't the most interesting of them, in my opinion. I remember most enjoying the interviews with Ayer, Searle, Bernard Williams, Hubert Dreyfus, Marcuse, Martha Nussbaum, Hilary Putnam, and Anthony Quinton. But yes, Magee's ability to summarize and clarify was brilliant.
  • What are you listening to right now?
    Who recognizes the music this track is based on?

  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    the overthrow of basically any authoritarian political regime I can think of has happened by at least physical protest if not outright warIsaac

    Yeah I'm not denying that.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    It's worth noting that 'tHe RaDiCaL LeFt CrEaTeD tHe RaDiCaL RiGhT' meme is just another function of the liberal inability to countenance politics beyond the thin film of speech. Nevermind stagnating wages, the destruction of primary industry, the corportization of the media, the swelling of economic inequality, the ballooning of household debt, the evisceration of state investment into public works, the explosion of prisionfare, the glaciating of social mobility, the crushing inflation of educations costs, the increasing capture of regulatory apparatus, the meteoric concentration of industry monopolies, the gutting of union power - no, won't somebody think of the fucking salons and how they look. All the rest is ViOlENcE. The InDiGnITy!

    Liberalism is cancer.
    StreetlightX

    Just from a Left-strategic point of view, I think liberalism is precisely now necessary. The Left antipathy to free speech only makes sense from a position of dominance, as in, it's generally not ok to be openly racist and sexist, and we need to protect those progressive gains. That is, it only makes sense for a Leftist focus on culture at the expense of economics and class, because a concern for the latter, as expressed in your post, is what we need free speech for, given that the societal ills you mention are real (and I agree they are). Pretty much any fundamental social gain either depends on free speech or is intimately associated with a fight against restrictions on speech.

    Thus the Left is suicidal in abandoning the defence of free speech to the Right. Liberalism still has the potential to undermine its own social conditions, which is part of its enduring value.

    But I guess that's an old and obvious argument, and I think things are a bit more interesting than that. Culture war and identitarian Leftists have not merely forgotten about economics and class. Their position is predicated on an outright rejection of the working class as a progressive political force, and on a concomitant fear and suspicion, namely that the average white Joe is always one Shapiro video away from signing up as a white supremacist. So this Left antipathy to free speech is not merely suicidal or naive, but is an expression of a class hostility.

    @csalisbury: The danger for me here is that if I start banging on about "liberal elites", as befits my nauseating role right now, I might look like a kind of proto-fascist. Instead, in my attacks I feel the need to use other terms of abuse such as "petit-bourgeois" so I can remind everyone I'm even more woke than woke. But still, I want to say that in saying so I need not be disavowing my position, exactly. It's more that I'm struggling to find or create the language to use, most often failing and falling back.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    In arguing that the liberal appeal to the neutral ground of 'the free and open marketplace of ideas' is bullshit (I'm certain about that), is it battle lines that I'm casting?StreetlightX

    In the context of the rest of your posts, yes, obviously.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    This might be too obvious so maybe it's been said before, but it must be worth noting that it wasn't Leftists screaming FASCIST! who just exposed Shapiro as a strident fool with horrible views, but a conservative journalist on a mainstream news network giving him a platform.

    Otherwise, @StreetlightX, you seem to want to have your cake and eat it, to talk politics in order to scorn talking politics. You presume a position of political certainty where the battle lines are drawn--e.g., the Left vs white supremacist murderers--from which you can make an intervention to tell us all that we're wasting our time at best, paving the road to hell at worst.

    But the political situation to me and others is different from that, hence the discussion. Hence the need for discussion.
  • Most depressing philosopher?
    Can Kant be the most depressing philosopher... just based on the fact his prose are like reading an obscurantist, over elaborating robot with the charisma of the bowling shoe ?thedeadidea

    I get the robot and bowling shoe, but Kant doesn't read like an obscurantist at all.
  • The N word
    In fact, I wouldn't want the use of it against the rules either. BC used it, and I'd say he wasn't being racist, merely sort of ironically irreverent.
  • The N word
    British and Australian English do notandrewk

    The terminal "r" is pronounced in some versions of British English. Not relevant but I can't stand this generalization.
  • The N word
    I agree it's a matter of etiquette, and I agree it's not always right to insist on being able to mention it. But it might be important to insist on it sometimes. I insist on being able to do it here, for example.
  • The N word
    It's worth pursuing not least because it belittles the experience of actual racism to see unwitting racism in the mention of a racist word, mentions that are obviously not racist. And this does now happen.
  • The N word
    I agree with all of that except, I think, for the last sentence, which is what this is all about I guess.
  • The N word
    Get the popcorn
  • The N word
    Yes, and that kind of complicates the use/mention thing, which gets infected by user/context/falsely attributed phonetic variant issues, confuses people, and leads to general strife on both sides.Baden

    I don't exactly see how it complicates the use/mention thing. I can see how it's complicated in the way I described above, by the sheer violence of the word, which as with "cunt" makes even the mention of it uncomfortable. But the linguistic angle you've outlined and which I agree with doesn't seem to add any complication that I can think of with respect to use/mention, though I'll note that it's not nearly so uncomfortable to mention the word "nigga" as it is to mention the n-word, hence my repeated use of "n-word".
  • The N word
    It centred around the general status of AAVE/BVEBaden

    Oh yeah. Good times. I thought that was here on TPF.

    Otherwise yes, thanks, that's what I was thinking, that they're actually different words (which is not to say it's always cool to use "nigga").
  • The N word
    Blacks (African Americans, err, Negroes... niggers?) use "nigger" in the same way that cock suckers use "queer".Bitter Crank

    Maybe you can stop being an idiot about this now especially as this was discussed before and it was explained in detail to you where you were going wrong.Baden

    I missed that discussion. I'd be interested to read the linguist's take on it.

    Off the top of my head and loosely speaking, if using it--as opposed to mentioning it--can be unobjectionable, then you still gotta use it right. The unobjectionable way of using it happens to be inaccessible to most white people, because it's associated with black sub-cultures. But if anecdotal evidence is worth anything at all, I happen know people in black London sub-cultures who have close white friends in those sub-cultures who use the word just like they themselves do. They know how to use it in a way Hanover never could, not only or even primarily because he's not black, but because he's not of that sub-culture.
  • The N word
    Generally I agree with andrewk that it's a use and mention thing. Nobody worth listening to is arguing for the use (in this sense, and also leaving aside its use by black people for the moment); the issue is whether it's all right to mention it. I'll find it horribly condescending of you to presume that a certain type of person ought to be protected from your mere mention of any word. However at the personal level it really depends. Even just the mention of "nigger", like that there, has the same violent frisson as mentioning "cunt", a word that I rarely use or even mention outside of a certain group of close friends, so I pretty much never even mention the n-word at all.

    But the cultural significance of all this is that in the public sphere, intent and the use-mention distinction are being ignored. And that is stupid.
  • The Shoutbox
    There was an overlap of course: some concentration camps, like Auschwitz, later became extermination centres.
  • The Shoutbox
    In fact, there were a great many concentration camps in Germany, but the dedicated extermination camps, such as Treblinka and Auschwitz, were all outside Germany.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    Have I read you wrong, or you me?StreetlightX

    Not sure. Let me think about that.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    This is probably one of the few sensible things said in this thread so far. The middling liberal approach taken by many in this thread looks at issues of ‘deplatforming’ and so on as though politics and power only ever intervene after the fact, as though the ground of speech were a priori neutral and only then ‘interfered’ with from the outside, per accidens. But this is naïvety at best, utter stupidity at worst - anyone who isn’t a complete idiot knows that only some are ever given a platform to begin with - are ‘platformed’. The rest - the majority - simply shout into the void.

    It is simply political infantilism to believe that everyone has a platform - is born with one, as it were - and that harm only comes from 'taking it away’. As if some stupid toy. Platforms are rare, hard-fought over, and mercilessly defended and attacked. Those who complain about ‘deplatforming’ usually have nothing to say about platforming to begin with, because they are so utterly insensible to the play of power everywhere at work long before some wanker has their stupid ‘say’ on a lectern somewhere. Their defence of ‘free speech’ is nothing but a defence of the arrangement of power just as it is - the status quo, all the while denying that power has any role to play expect on the side of those who argue for ‘deplatforming’. It’s hypocrisy unnamed.
    StreetlightX

    Only "their" defence of free speech? I guess you mean either the defence of free speech for the views you don't like; or, which for you comes to the same thing, the defence of free speech for all views. I guess you mean that, say, my defence of free speech is also a "defence of the arrangement of power just as it is", only maybe I don't know it.

    But there is disagreement over what that arrangement of power is, and disagreement over what is a defence of the status quo and what is not. For example, I'm a quasi- or ex- or crypto-leftist, and I believe that neoliberal capitalism and the present cultural orthodoxy that passes for leftism are more than merely compatible: they are two sides of the same coin. And that's despite the existence of bogeymen like the Kochs. The point is not to argue here for that thesis, but to try and show that your moral and intellectual high ground isn't necessarily so high, i.e., that there's a debate to be had, one that you assume has been had already.

    Liberal shills have nothing to say about the structural, socio-economic conditions that precipitated that the situations they are decrying. They'll bark your ear off about 'deplatforming' and remain deafeningly, fatally silent about the far more significant, far more pervasive issue of platforming. Their politics is reactive, as reactive as any they blab about with their reams of words.StreetlightX

    Is anyone who defends free speech without compromise, or who complains about deplatforming, a "liberal shill"? What about the people who do so while also having things to say about the "structural, socio-economic conditions that precipitated that the situations they are decrying"?

    Like most of your stuff about actually existing politics, your post is impatient, polemical, authoritarian, and--in common with most philosophers when they talk about the real world--disappointingly second-hand and mainstream-ideological. But if you're taking sides in a battle, on behalf of a party, then I guess that's appropriate. I mean, even accepting your stuff about power, from that point if you don't accept that there is a debate to be had about who holds the power in the first place, then it just comes down to who can shout the loudest, who can use the power of the state for their own ends (and who can lament the deplorableness of the common people in the class war of the Left against the working class).

    Your post is really just an argument in favour of ad hominem. Do not look to the argument, you say, look to the person--and their power, identity, etc. As such it is close to being fallacious if interpreted as rational, though perhaps useful or understandable if interpreted as bloodthirsty polemic or Leninist revolutionary propaganda. It doesn't come close to being thoughtful or philosophical.
  • Readable contemporary philosophy recommendation.
    For super easy reading and kind of continental: Why the World Does Not Exist by Markus Gabriel. I just read it and liked it quite a lot.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    Thoughtless cant is allowed here; I wouldn't class your post as low quality in the context of this discussion.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    I'm not sure why you think it's appropriate to post with precisely the kind of thoughtless cant that one finds on Twitter, and which I'm trying to draw attention to.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    Latest privileged white academic in the firing line for having incorrect views is Camille Paglia. It was only a matter of time I guess.

    Art students are trying to get the social critic fired from a job she has held for three decades
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    Thanks, but I wasn't aware of dodging anything. I think it was a good point. You opposed two things that seemed to me unrelated, so I pointed it out.

    So your point is that you're offended because a philosopher has negatively judged your sexual practice? And I'm pathetic?
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    the idea of caviar ... actual caviarBenkei

    I had to use google for this, which for some reason makes me feel superior.

    I still like actual caviar.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    Again, I see you condemning my language as trying to put something beyond reasonable debate as if calling something an obscene disgusting practice is the language that keeps things within reasonable debate.unenlightened

    This doesn't work. You're condemning a man for his views or his words, but if Scruton is condemning anything at all, it's not a person for their views or words, but a general sexual practice. Only the former condemnation has anything to do with putting things beyond reasonable debate.

    Anyway, I reckon obscenity and disgust are crucial in any comprehensive discussion of sexuality, so I don't see any problem with that language.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    Fair enough. My point was not particularly against you, but rather the general point that seeking to restrict women's freedom is not necessarily, obviously and uncontroversially sexist, or is not enough to justify consigning a view to somewhere beyond reasonable debate (the place you aim to put someone when you call them sexist, fascist, malevolent, etc.)

    So maybe the bonkers remark was intemperate too.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    The idea that the Scruton quotation about masturbation--here repeatedly and bizarrely interpreted out of context--is sexist, but controlling women's reproductive freedom is not, is bonkers.

    EDIT: But I said I wasn't going to get into that. Sorry.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    Existing, in my case. Anyhow, it's a false equivalency. In the case of abortion, there's a balance of rights to be considered between the unborn child (of whatever sex) and the pregnant woman. There's another life at stake.Baden

    But then, you would say that. I'm not going to get into abortion, but my point is that in both your case and in Scruton's, there are other things you think need to be balanced against the individual rights of the woman. And I think you both believe that your positions seek a better result for society.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    Fair enough, although I think it's in the same ball park, and illiberal in the same way. Likewise your intemperate and uninformed rush to condemn a philosopher as extreme, illegitimate, idiotic, sexist, racist, and so on.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    I am open to correction, but on the face of it, I would say that a view that wishes to restrict the role of women is a sexist view in any normal understanding.unenlightened

    Maybe, but then it's just another sexist opinion to be countered with argument. Compare: at least a couple of liberal-leftish members here are in favour of existing, or even more extensive, obstacles to getting an abortion. Me, I happen to think those obstacles profoundly restrict the freedom of women. But this is an issue for debate, not for shutting people down.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    Kenan Malik in the Guardian:

    Most of those who excoriated Eaton replayed parts of the interview that made his tweets look misjudged but ignored the uglier parts of Scruton’s views. Like Eaton himself, they seemed more interested in feeding the outrage machine than in illuminating debate. So we have a curious situation in which Scruton is sacked for his comments, there is ire at how his comments were presented by an editor on Twitter, but little discussion about his actual views, their context or consequences.

    Part of the problem is that the conditions for fruitful public debate involve many elements, some of which may seem contradictory: a willingness to be robust in one’s critique while also being charitable in interpreting our opponents; refusing to portray opponents as simply “evil, pernicious and wicked” while also not ignoring that which is so; being committed to free speech but also to a kind of speech that allows debate to flourish.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/21/david-lammy-roger-scruton-rush-damn-our-opponents

    I think this is about right. Having read a few of Scruton's books, I would defend him as a subtle and humane thinker. However, I wouldn't defend his long-standing anti-immigrant views or his anti-anti-smoking writings, and I often disagree with him, e.g., on sex, politics, and music. But mostly I'd want to see these things addressed in debate, certainly not with offence-finding witch-hunts, misrepresentation and banishment beyond the pale.
  • The Shoutbox
    I'd like to see more Leftists like To Mega Therion, photographer, and 180 Proof, and also some more conservatives to make things interesting. Personally I don't think we're lacking in--how can I put this neutrally?--po-faced moralizing petit-bourgeois identitarian witch-hunt leftist authoritarian defenders of cultural orthodoxy in the assumed guise of radicals.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    I see. Kinda feel like replying but we're off-course already.